Dow and Bolloré collaborate to develop ground-breaking recyclable food-contact barrier shrink film

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Dow and Bolloré have joined f orces on a pilot project which enables the use of recycled content in new food-contact packaging applications which can in turn be recycled after use. This partnership marks another step forward in Dow’s circularity ambitions introducing packages on which contain circular polymers, derived f rom plastic waste.

Bollore’s OXBTEC_RCB (Recyclable Circular-Based) barrier shrink film is manufactured with high-quality circular polymers from Dow. These polymers come from a feedstock made from 100 percent plastic waste and are developed using advanced recycling. This ground-breaking technology enables mixed used plastics to be broken down into their basic chemical elements and re-polymerized into the equivalent of virgin plastic which can then be used in new food-contact applications. Advanced recycling is complementary to conventional recycling processes like mechanical recycling.
This is an important development as it enables hard-to-recycle plastics to be recycled and, importantly, used safely and effectively in food-contact applications, rather than ending up in landfill or incineration. In addition, advanced recycling processes are expected to save approximately 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of plastic recycled, compared to incinerationi of unrecycled plastics.

This pioneering film is to be rolled out first in the UK, in September, where it will be exclusively distributed by Yorkshire Packaging Systems (YPS), a long – established partner of Bolloré. It will be incorporated into production by their customer Cranswick, a leading supplier of meat and poultry, for the packaging of their whole bird products. Both YPS and Cranswick have comprehensive sustainability pledges in place, for which the introduction of OXBTEC_RCB shrink film represents a significant addition. YPS has committed to a ‘plastic promise’, whereby the business will supply only fully-recyclable, On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) approved flexible f ilms to their customers, while also focusing on expanding their offering of films containing recycled content. The fresh food giant has meanwhile launched ‘Second Nature’, an extensive blueprint towards becoming the world’s most sustainable meat business.

“This is an exciting collaboration and we are thrilled to be working with Bolloré, YPS and Cranswick to launch this high-quality, safe and recyclable packaging made from pioneering circular polymers” commented Peter Sandkühler, Sustainability Director at Dow. “We are committed to making significant progress to accelerate a circular economy for plastics, as well as deliver against the EU’s target for all plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective manner by 2030. This is another step in the right direction, and we look forward to working in partnership with Bolloré to achieve our joint ambitions to tackle some of the world’s greatest environmental issues”.

“We are thrilled with the technological advances that made it possible for us to present a certified recyclable barrier f ilm ii for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), which overcomes one of the biggest challenges of the industry and allows a f ilm with recycled content to be used in food contact applications. Furthermore, our f ilm helps brand owners and retailers to reach their sustainability goals and enables them to comply with newly introduced legislation and taxes concerning the use of plastic recycled materials in packaging”, said Nicolas Badier, Product and R&D Manager from Bolloré.

Further to advancing a circular economy for plastics, Bolloré’s barrier shrink f ilm – which is designed especially for the packaging of fresh food products – is also supporting the f ight against food waste. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitting country of greenhouse gases in the world. Bolloré’s barrier shrink f ilm can help prolong the shelf -life of food. For example, by doubling the use-by date of poultry f rom seven days to 14, the entire supply chain is optimized by increasing t he window of safe consumption for the public. The new product has been awarded BRC accreditation from the manufacturing stage to distribution and exceeds all hygiene and safety regulations.